GLOBAL - Private equity firm Blackstone has raised $6bn (€4.5bn) over the past six months for a global opportunistic fund targeting distressed assets.

A source close to the Real Estate Partners VII fund said there were "by definition" no targets for exposure to specific markets in the opportunistic fund, although it is likely to be slightly heavier in the US market.

The source also denied that the timing of the fund was significant.

"It's just the next fund, and much of the capital came from repeat investors from the last fund." 

The $10.9bn Real Estate VI fund closed in 2008.

In separate news, US property developer and management firm Related Companies has raised $825m - 10% of it from European investors, including UK corporate pension schemes - for a fund targeting distressed development and renovation debt.

The fund will also take off-market value-added equity positions.

The fund has already deployed 25% of the capital raised.

Justin Metz, head of fund management, said: "Investors in the fund wanted to invest with a group that could deploy the capital.

"You can't raise capital without the ability to deploy it, but, to deploy it, you have to raise it."

Asked if European investors were particularly concerned over the ability to deploy committed capital, he said it applied across the board.

"Investors are acting out strategies that involve deployment over a specific period," he said.
"It matters if you can't deploy the capital because it affects those investors' allocations."

Although European banks such as BNP Paribas have indicated that they will offload more real estate assets in a bid to balance their balance sheets, Metz warned that distressed assets made up a finite universe.

"There aren't thousands of assets out there," he said. "You can't call the bank and end up with one in five minutes.

"You have to do the research market by market, track owners and debt holders and hope to make a deal."